Learning English - Words in the News
25 July, 2005 - Published 11:12 GMT
Australia approves elephant import
The Australian government has approved the importation of 8 elephants. Environmental groups are challenging the decision saying that it is cruel to keep elephants in zoos. This report from Phil Mercer:
The eight elephants destined for zoos in Sydney and Melbourne have been in quarantine in Thailand since last October. After months of deliberation Australia's environment minister, Ian Campbell, has approved their importation and they are due to arrive later this year.
Wildlife campaigners have insisted that scientific evidence has proved that elephants in zoos don't breed well and suffer a wide range of health problems. On top of that, it's claimed they die at a younger age than those living in the wild or kept in parks. Nicola Beynon from the Humane Society International is hoping legal action here in Australia will force the government to reverse its decision:
The government in Canberra is allowing these Asian elephants into Australia as part of a conservation programme which it believes will help safeguard the species. The population of these magnificent animals has been decimated over the past century. It's estimated that fewer than 34,000 now remain across a dozen countries.
Phil Mercer, BBC
After months of deliberation
On top of that
launching an appeal